Knowing what not to dump down the drain is crucial for maintaining a properly functioning plumbing system and preventing costly repairs. Here are several items that plumbers universally advise against dumping down drains:

Grease and Oils: Pouring grease, cooking oils, or fatty substances down drains can lead to clogged pipes. These substances solidify as they cool, clinging to pipe walls and attracting other debris, causing blockages over time.

Coffee Grounds: Despite their small size, coffee grounds do not break down in water and can accumulate in pipes, causing blockages.


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It’s best to dispose of them in the trash or use them for composting.

Eggshells: The membrane inside eggshells can stick to pipe walls, while the shell itself can break into small fragments that contribute to clogs. Dispose of eggshells in the trash instead.

Fibrous Foods: Stringy vegetables like celery, potato peels, and corn husks can wrap around garbage disposal blades or get tangled in pipes, causing jamming and blockages.

Chemicals: Harsh chemicals such as bleach, drain cleaners, or paint thinners can corrode pipes and harm plumbing fixtures. They can also harm the environment when flushed into water systems.

Medication: Flushing medications down drains can contaminate water sources and harm aquatic life. Follow proper disposal methods recommended by pharmacies or community take-back programs.

Hair: Hair easily accumulates in drains, combining with other debris to form clogs. Use drain covers to catch hair and dispose of it in the trash.

By avoiding these common culprits, homeowners can reduce the likelihood of plumbing issues and the need for professional intervention from plumbers. Regular maintenance, such as using drain strainers and periodically flushing drains with hot water and vinegar, can also help keep plumbing systems clear and functioning smoothly. If faced with persistent clogs or plumbing problems, consulting experienced plumbers can provide solutions tailored to maintaining a healthy plumbing system.

Homeowners can reduce the likelihood of plumbing issues

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